The Cross: To Live, We Must Die #Salvation #Sanctification






https://youtu.be/SUvpBphq5og



1 Corinthians 2:2

King James Version


2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.


My prayer for those who are called to read this Blog:

For the unsaved:  I pray you now find yourself convicted to pray and believe that Jesus Christ came and died on the cross for your sins; he was buried according to the scriptures, and that he rose again on the third day according to the scriptures. Give Jesus your worries, fears, doubts, pain. Trust in him completely to meet all your needs according to His riches and glory. Amen!  Note: This does not mean you will be rich, successful, and never sick. This means you will have an abundant spiritual life in Christ. Amen!

For those who are saved and belong to Christ Jesus our Lord:  I pray that we may know Christ and Him crucified. May the very breadth and depth of the essence of this scripture be ours.  Dear Lord, Open the Eyes of our understanding. I pray this Blog be an encouragement and to accomplish your will and purpose.  May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ grant us a far deeper understanding of Him in knowing who we ARE IN HIM in order that we might strive lawfully in obtaining our masteries and our crowns FOR HIS GLORY. Even so Come Lord Jesus. Maranatha! Amen!

It is here - at the cross - I want to talk and with all my heart I invite you to come with me on this journey.

It is here at the cross that we first find our salvation in understanding and believing that Jesus Christ died on that cross for our sins. He was buried and rose again on the third day. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV and here is the GOSPEL OF GRACE. 

It is here at the cross that we must come and die with Christ Jesus. We first must die in order to be free from our natural - carnal nature. This is a crucial step in our growing and maturing in Christ. If we do not actually go through this process, we will be as babes in Christ who are ever learning and never coming to the knowledge.  We would be like those who continue to drink milk and never grow up to be able to eat solid food.  We would be those who are carnal Christians who stive unlawfully, whose works will be burned at the BEMA SEAT. And who will not be crowned. 2 Timothy 3: 7 KJV. Galatians Chapter 5 KJV, 1 Corinthians Chapters 3 and 5 KJV, Romans Chapters 6 and 8 KJV, Ephesians Chapter 5 KJV.

Please read Blog

To be a Good Soldier for Jesus We have to Know our Authority and Responsibility in order to Strive Lawfully


 We are then told that those who are in the flesh cannot please God and some are told as were the Corinthians that they could not be called spiritual but carnal. 

But how can this be if scripture is clear that those who are saved are dead to sin and alive to Christ Galatians 2:20 KJV? If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV?  There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Romans 8:1 KJV?  That the law is spiritual, but Paul claims he is carnal, sold under sin Romans 7:14 KJV?  That Paul claims that what he does what he hates but doesn't do that which is right Romans 7:15 KJV? That Paul claims himself to be a wretched man who sees himself pulled into the captivity of sin Romans 7:23,24 KJV?   

FRAME 1

Through Jesus Christ we are both SAVED and walk SPIRITUAL in VICTORY.

Immediately following Paul's declaration of his wretched state, and his pathetic rhetorical question: "who shall deliver me from this body of death?" in Romans 7:24 KJV, KJV, we read in Romans verse 25 of Chapter 7:  "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Question is answered.  Then continue: "So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. And continue with Romans 8:1 KJV: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 

Continue:  Romans 8:2-17 KJV. 

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.


1 Corinthians 15:57

King James Version


57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

FRAME 2


The Cross is the manner, method, procedure, formula for our Spiritual development.

We MUST GO TO THE CROSS AND DIE WITH CHRIST.


 Matthew 16:24 KJV, Romans 6:6-11 KJV, Galatians 2:20 KJV.  We understand we are commanded. We then reckon or know by belief through faith that what is promised HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED. 


Matthew 16:24

King James Version

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.



Romans 6:6

King James Version


6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Note:  the verb to be as an auxiliary verb means that what is described as already been accomplished, completed. 

Galatians 2:20

King James Version


20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Romans 6:1-

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

RECKON: Oxford Dictionary page 2440:  To repeat, utter, account; recite... recount, narrate, sum up, estimate, to accept or repeat as total - complete. 

                                FRAME 3

What happened at the Cross? Though we may have heard this preached and taught before, we can never hear it enough.

1. SALVATION.  Death (Spiritual) was conquered 
2. RESTORATION. The Veil was torn from top to bottom.
We were fully restored to our rightful relationship with our Creator. The same that Adam and Eve had before the fall.
3. VICTORY over Satan and all his principalities, powers, rulers of darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places. 

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

King James Version

15 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:


Ephesians 2:8-9

King James Version

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Matthew 27:50-51

King James Version


 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

2 Corinthians 3:13


King James Version

13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

2 Corinthians 3:16, 17



16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.

17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.


The Veil has been torn. The Veil has been lifted. The wall torn down. There is now no separation.



Matthew 28:18-20

King James Version


18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

                                   FRAME 4

The only way to comprehend what happened and what IS accomplished at the CROSS is through God's word.

 We hear and read the truth and must BELIEVE and have FAITH that is HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED.    PAST TENSE!  DONE!

How this happens?

God's word splits and separates. Divides.  

Hebrews 4:12


King James Version


For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

God exists as 3 parts in the visual image of the BODY and Person of Jesus Christ. We are made in His image existing as SPIRIT, SOUL, BODY.  Genesis 1:26,27; 2:7 KJV.

Note:  See my study Trinity is Pagan; Godhead is Biblical.

Trinity is Pagan Practice of Polytheism in Mainstream Christianity #EndTimes #Apostasy (thethirdheaventraveler.com)

Please read:

Come meet my Kinsman Redeemer


Come Meet my Kinsman Redeemer (thethirdheaventraveler.com)


The Temple of God in Jerusalem was comprised of 3 parts that represent the Godhead being 3 parts and how man is comprised of 3 parts.  See notes below.

No one except the high priest was allowed inside the 60-foot high, 4-inch-thick curtain - veil between the HOLY OF HOLIES and the inner Court.  Inside the Holy of Holies is where God resided to interface with mankind. Inside the 20 (cycle of completeness connected to a perfect period of waiting, labor, or suffering that is compared to a trial rewarded) square cubits room is the MERCY SEAT on the ARK of the COVENANT. 

What was the mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant? (compellingtruth.org)

The Holy of Holies - Temple Institute

Before the FALL we were at one with God.  After the fall we were separated.  APART. Divided.  The Temple represented this.

After the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the VEIL was DIVIDED TORN.  We now have full access to the FATHER through JESUS CHRIST. 

Before we can enter the Holy of Holies and experience the torn veil - Our SOUL must be torn-rent-divided from our SPIRIT.   See fascinating study below - an excerpt from Watchman Nee's Spiritual Man. 

The Great Paradox  (Meaning of a paradox. A literary device. A paradox is a statement that appears at first to be contradictory, but upon reflection then makes sense. This literary device is commonly used to engage a reader to discover an underlying logic in a seemingly self-contradictory statement or phrase. As a result, paradox allows readers to understand concepts in a different and even non-traditional way.)

God uses the Paradox often.  Example:  When I am weak I am strong. My strength is made perfect in weakness.  2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV. 

Here is the Great Paradox: To Live we must be dead.   To be complete and enter into communion - fully restored relationship with God as well as our salvation we are first crucified with Christ and then to grow in Christ we must have our WILL - our SOUL -separated from our SPIRIT.   To Live we must be dead. 

RELIGION is CAIN.  FAITH is ABEL.   Read Jude 1:11 KJV.

Our flesh, our carnal man is crafty and clever. The cross is foolish to us or a stumbling block. Let's read together:   


1 Corinthians 1:18

King James Version

18
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

The only way to defend the faith and to preach the GOSPEL OF GRACE is to use the Word of God.


Ephesians 6:17

King James Version
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:                      


Notes:

The Temple Veil.  The tearing from top to bottom of the Temple Veil.


Article by Compelling Truth:

https://www.compellingtruth.org/holy-of-holies.html

What was the temple veil? What is the meaning of the temple veil being torn in two when Jesus died?

In the Jewish temple, the veil served as the barrier to the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies was said to be where God's presence rested and it housed the Ark of the Covenant. Only the high priest could enter this area, and then only one time per year, to make atonement for the sins of Israel (Exodus 30:10).

First Kings 6:2 records that Solomon's temple was 30 cubits high. This would have been 45 feet tall. The first century Jewish historian Josephus records that Herod extended the temple's height to 40 cubits high, about 60 feet tall. He also records that the veil was four inches thick.

Matthew 27:50-51 says, "And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom." Notice the details: 1) Jesus died, 2) the enormous 45 to 60-foot high, four inch thick curtain was torn in half, and 3) the tear was from top to bottom, clearly indicating the destruction was not man-made, but came from God.

This connection between the death of Jesus and the torn veil is not just about God's power, but is demonstrative of who Jesus is, what the cross accomplished, and the access we have to God through Christ. Hebrews 8:1-2 notes, "Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man." Jesus Himself now serves as our high priest. There is no longer a need for a Jewish high priest to stand before the Lord and make atonement for our sins. Jesus has provided for our atonement through His death on the cross.

In addition, the tearing of the veil also helped to mark the beginning of a new covenant. Hebrews 8:13 states, "In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away."

A powerful application of this change is described in Hebrews 4:14-16: "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Instead of coming to a priest, we can directly and boldly come before God through Jesus Christ to receive mercy and grace. Jesus meets our needs and even identifies with our weaknesses. The tearing of the veil is profoundly significant and provides a pictorial foundation for how we can approach God today. God has torn down the barrier between Himself and us through the work of Jesus.


Excerpt from Watchman Nee's work titled: "The Spiritual Man".  Note: If you read this highly recommended book, it is important that you obtain the 1968 edition or earlier.  

"Do you not know," writes the Apostle Paul, "that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" (1 Cor. 3.16) He has received revelation in likening man to the temple. As God formerly dwelt in the temple, so the Holy Spirit indwells man today. By comparing him to the temple we can see how the tripartite elements of man are distinctly manifested. We know the temple is divided into three parts. The first is the outer court which is seen by all and visited by all. All external worship is offered here. Going further in is the Holy Place, into which only the priests can enter and where they present oil, incense and bread to God. They are quite near to God: yet not the nearest, for they are still outside the veil and therefore unable to stand before His very presence. God dwells deepest within, in the Holy of Holies, where darkness is overshadowed by brilliant light and into which no man can enter. Though the high priest does enter in once annually, it nonetheless indicates that before the veil is rent there can be no man in the Holy of Holies. Man is God's temple also, and he too has three parts. The body is like the outer court, occupying an external position with its life visible to all. Here man ought to obey every commandment of God. Here God's Son serves as a substitute and dies for mankind. Inside is man's soul which constitutes the inner life of man and which embraces man's emotion, volition and mind. Such is the Holy Place of a regenerated person, for his love, will and thought are fully enlightened that he may serve God even as the priest of old did. Innermost, behind the veil, lies the Holy of Holies into which no human light has ever penetrated, and no naked eye has ever pierced. It is "the secret place of the Most High," the dwelling place of God. It cannot be reached by man unless God is willing to rend the veil. It is man's spirit. This spirit lies beyond man's self-consciousness and above his sensibility. Here man unites and communes with God. No light is provided for the Holy of Holies because God dwells there. There is light in the Holy Place supplied by the lampstand of seven branches. The outer court stands under the broad daylight. All these serve as images and shadows to a regenerated person. His spirit is like the Holy of Holies indwelt by God, where everything is carried on by faith, beyond the sight, sense or understanding of the believing one. The soul resembles the Holy Place for it is amply enlightened with many rational thoughts and precepts, much knowledge and understanding concerning the things in the ideational and material world. The body is comparable to the outer court, clearly visible to all. The body's actions may be seen by everyone. The order which God presents to us is unmistakable: "your spirit and soul and body" (1 Thess. 5.23). It is not "soul and spirit and body," nor is it "body and soul and spirit." The spirit is the preeminent part, hence it is mentioned first; the body is the lowest and therefore is last mentioned; the soul stands between, so is mentioned between. Having now seen God's order, we can appreciate the wisdom of the Bible in likening man to a temple. We can recognize the perfect harmony which exists between the temple and man in respect to both order and value. Temple service moves according to the revelation in the Holy of Holies. All activities in the Holy Place and in the outer court are regulated by the presence of God in the Holiest Place. This is the most sacred spot, the place upon which the four corners of the temple converge and rest. It may seem to us that nothing is done in the Holiest because it is pitch dark. All activities are in the Holy Place; even those activities of the outer court are controlled by the priests of the Holy Place. Yet all the activities of the Holy Place actually are directed by the revelation in the utter quietness and peace of the Holy of Holies. It is not difficult to perceive the spiritual application. The soul, the organ of our personality, is composed of mind, volition and emotion. It appears as though the soul is master of all actions, for the body follows its direction. Before the fall of man, however, the soul, in spite of its many activities, was governed by the spirit. And this is the order God still wants: first the spirit, then the soul, and lastly the body.





Other portions of the Scriptures make this same differentiation between spirit and soul. "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Heb. 4.12). The writer in this verse divides man's non-corporal elements into two parts, "soul and spirit." The corporal part is mentioned here as including the joints and marrow: organs of motion and sensation. When the priest uses the sword to cut and completely dissect the sacrifice, nothing inside can be hidden. Even joint and marrow are separated. In like manner the Lord Jesus uses the Word of God on His people to separate thoroughly, to pierce even to the division of the spiritual, the soulical, and the physical. And from this it follows that since soul and spirit can be divided, they must be different in nature. It is thus evident here that man is a composite of three parts.





SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY AFTER THE FALL Adam lived by the breath of life becoming spirit in him. By the spirit he sensed God, knew God's voice, and communed with God. He had a very keen awareness of God. But after his fall his spirit died. When God spoke to Adam at the first He said, "in the day that you eat of it (the fruit of the tree of good and evil) you shall die" (Gen. 2.17). Adam and Eve nevertheless continued on for hundreds of years after eating the forbidden fruit. This obviously indicates that the death God foretold was not physical. Adam's death began in his spirit. What really is death? According to its scientific definition, death is "the cessation of communication with environment." Death of the spirit is the cessation of its communication with God. Death of the body is the cutting off of communication between spirit and body. So when we say the spirit is dead it does not imply there is no more spirit; we simply mean the spirit has lost its sensitivity towards God and thus is dead to Him. The exact situation is that the spirit is incapacitated, unable to commune with God. To illustrate. A dumb person has a mouth and lungs, but something is wrong with his vocal cords and he is powerless to speak. So far as human language is concerned his mouth may be considered dead. Similarly, Adam's spirit died because of his disobedience to God. He still had his spirit, yet it was dead to God for it had lost its spiritual instinct. It is still so; sin has destroyed the spirit's keen intuitive knowledge of God and rendered man spiritually dead. He may be religious, moral, learned, capable, strong and wise, but he is dead to God. He may even talk about God, reason about God and preach God, but he is still dead to Him. Man is not able to hear or to sense the voice of God's Spirit. Consequently in the New Testament God often refers to those who are living in the flesh as dead. The death which began in our forefather's spirit gradually spread until it reached his body. Though he lived on for many years after his spirit was dead, death nevertheless worked incessantly in him until his spirit, soul and body were all dead. His body, which could have been transformed and glorified, was instead returned to dust. Because his inward man had fallen into chaos, his outward body must die and be destroyed. Henceforth Adam's spirit (as well as the spirit of all his descendants) fell under the oppression of the soul until it gradually merged with the soul and the two parts became closely united. The writer of Hebrews declares in 4.12 that the Word of God shall pierce and divide soul and spirit. The dividing is necessary because spirit and soul have become one. While they are intimately knit they plunge man into a psychic world. Everything is done according to the dictates of intellect or feeling. The spirit has lost its power and sensation, as though dead asleep. What instinct it has in knowing and serving God is entirely paralyzed. It remains in a coma as if nonexistent. This is what is meant in Jude 19 by "natural, not having spirit" (literal).[2] This certainly does not mean the human spirit ceases to exist, for Numbers 16.22 distinctly states that God is "the God of the spirits of all flesh." Every human being still has in his possession a spirit, although it is darkened by sin and impotent to hold communion with God. However dead this spirit may be towards God it may remain as active as the mind or the body. It is accounted dead to God but is still very active in other respects. Sometimes the spirit of a fallen man can even be stronger than his soul or body and gain dominion over the whole being. Such persons are "spiritual" just as most people are largely soulical or physical, because their spirits are much bigger than that of ordinary individuals. These are the sorceresses and the witches. They indeed maintain contacts with the spiritual realm; but these do so through the evil spirit, not by the Holy Spirit. The spirit of the fallen man thus is allied with Satan and his evil spirits. It is dead to God yet very much alive to Satan and follows the evil spirit which is now at work in him. In yielding to the demand of its passions and lusts the soul has become a slave to the body so that the Holy Spirit finds it useless to strive for God's place in such a one. Hence the Scripture declares, "My Spirit shall not always plead with Man; for he indeed is flesh" (Gen. 6.3 Darby). The Bible refers to the flesh as the composite of the unregenerated soul and the physical life, though more often than not it points to sin which is in the body. Once man is completely under the dominion of the flesh he has no possibility of liberating himself. Soul has replaced the spirit's authority. Everything is done independently and according to the dictates of his mind. Even in religious matters, in the hottest pursuit of God, all is carried on by the strength and will of man's soul, void of the Holy Spirit's revelation. The soul is not merely independent of the spirit; it is additionally under the body's control. It is now asked to obey, to execute and to fulfill the lusts, passions and demands of the body. Every son of Adam is therefore not only dead in his spirit but he is also "from the earth, a man of dust" (1 Cor. 15.47). Fallen men are governed completely by the flesh, walking in response to the desires of their soulish life and physical passions. Such ones are unable to commune with God. Sometimes they display their intellect, at others times their passion, but more often both their intellect and passion. Unimpeded, the flesh is in firm control over the total man. This is what is unfolded in Jude 18 and 19: "mockers, walking after their own lusts of ungodliness. These are they who set themselves apart, natural men, not having spirit" (Darby). Being soulish is antagonistic to being spiritual. The spirit, that noblest part of us, the part which may be united to God and ought to regulate the soul and body, is now under the dominion of the soul, that part of us which is earthly in both its motive and aim. The spirit has been stripped of its original position. Man's present condition is abnormal. Wherefore he is pictured as not having spirit. The result of being soulish is that he becomes a mocker, pursuing ungodly passions and creating divisions. 1 Corinthians 2.14 speaks of such unregenerated persons in this fashion: "The natural (soulish) man does not receive the gifts of the spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." Such men as are under the control of their souls with their spirits suppressed are in direct contrast to spiritual people. They may be exceedingly intelligent, able to present masterful ideas or theories, yet they do not consent to the things of the Spirit of God. They are unfit to receive revelation from the Holy Spirit. Such revelation is vastly different from human ideas. Man may think human intellect and reasoning are almighty, that the brain is able to comprehend all truths of the world; but the verdict of God's Word is, "vanity of vanities." While man is in his soulish state he frequently senses the insecurity of this age and so he too seeks the eternal life of the coming age. But even if he does, he is still powerless to uncover the Word of life by his much thinking and theorizing. How untrustworthy are human reasonings! We often observe how very clever persons clash in their different opinions. Theories easily lead man into error. They are castles in the air, tumbling him into eternal darkness. How true it is that without the guidance of the Holy Spirit intellect not only is undependable but also extremely dangerous, because it often confuses the issue of right and wrong. A slight carelessness may cause not merely temporary loss but even everlasting harm. The darkened mind of man frequently leads him to eternal death. If only unregenerated souls could see this, how good it would be! While man is fleshly he may be controlled by more than just the soul; he may be under the direction of the body as well; for soul and body are closely entwined. Because the body of sin is abounding in desires and passions, man may commit the most hideous of sins. As the body is formed of the dust, so its natural tendency is towards the earth. The introduction of the serpent's poison into man's body turns all its legitimate desires into lusts. Having once yielded to the body in disobeying God, the soul finds itself bound to yield every time. The base desires of the body may therefore often be expressed through the soul. The power of the body becomes so overwhelming that the soul cannot but become the obedient slave. God's thought is for the spirit to have the pre-eminence, ruling our soul. But once man turns fleshly his spirit sinks into servitude to the soul. Further degradation follows when man becomes "bodily" (of the body), for the basest body rises to be sovereign. Man has then descended from "spirit-control" to "soul-control," and from "soul-control" to "body-control." Deeper and deeper he sinks. How pitiful it must be when the flesh gains dominion. Sin has slain the spirit: spiritual death hence becomes the portion of all, for all are dead in sins and trespasses. Sin has rendered the soul independent: the soulish life is therefore but a selfish and self-willed one. Sin has finally empowered the body: sinful nature accordingly reigns through the body.


Henceforth Adam's spirit (as well as the spirit of all his descendants) fell under the oppression of the soul until it gradually merged with the soul and the two parts became closely united. The writer of Hebrews declares in 4.12 that the Word of God shall pierce and divide soul and spirit. The dividing is necessary because spirit and soul have become one. While they are intimately knit they plunge man into a psychic world. Everything is done according to the dictates of intellect or feeling. The spirit has lost its power and sensation, as though dead asleep. What instinct it has in knowing and serving God is entirely paralyzed. It remains in a coma as if nonexistent. This is what is meant in Jude 19 by "natural, not having spirit" (literal).[2] This certainly does not mean the human spirit ceases to exist, for Numbers 16.22 distinctly states that God is "the God of the spirits of all flesh." Every human being still has in his possession a spirit, although it is darkened by sin and impotent to hold communion with God. However dead this spirit may be towards God it may remain as active as the mind or the body. It is accounted dead to God but is still very active in other respects. Sometimes the spirit of a fallen man can even be stronger than his soul or body and gain dominion over the whole being. Such persons are "spiritual" just as most people are largely soulical or physical, because their spirits are much bigger than that of ordinary individuals. These are the sorceresses and the witches. They indeed maintain contacts with the spiritual realm; but these do so through the evil spirit, not by the Holy Spirit. The spirit of the fallen man thus is allied with Satan and his evil spirits. It is dead to God yet very much alive to Satan and follows the evil spirit which is now at work in him. In yielding to the demand of its passions and lusts the soul has become a slave to the body so that the Holy Spirit finds it useless to strive for God's place in such a one. Hence the Scripture declares, "My Spirit shall not always plead with Man; for he indeed is flesh" (Gen. 6.3 Darby). The Bible refers to the flesh as the composite of the unregenerated soul and the physical life, though more often than not it points to sin which is in the body. Once man is completely under the dominion of the flesh he has no possibility of liberating himself. Soul has replaced the spirit's authority. Everything is done independently and according to the dictates of his mind. Even in religious matters, in the hottest pursuit of God, all is carried on by the strength and will of man's soul, void of the Holy Spirit's revelation. The soul is not merely independent of the spirit; it is additionally under the body's control. It is now asked to obey, to execute and to fulfill the lusts, passions and demands of the body. Every son of Adam is therefore not only dead in his spirit but he is also "from the earth, a man of dust" (1 Cor. 15.47). Fallen men are governed completely by the flesh, walking in response to the desires of their soulish life and physical passions. Such ones are unable to commune with God. Sometimes they display their intellect, at others times their passion, but more often both their intellect and passion. Unimpeded, the flesh is in firm control over the total man. This is what is unfolded in Jude 18 and 19: "mockers, walking after their own lusts of ungodliness. These are they who set themselves apart, natural men, not having spirit" (Darby). Being soulish is antagonistic to being spiritual. The spirit, that noblest part of us, the part which may be united to God and ought to regulate the soul and body, is now under the dominion of the soul, that part of us which is earthly in both its motive and aim. The spirit has been stripped of its original position. Man's present condition is abnormal. Wherefore he is pictured as not having spirit. The result of being soulish is that he becomes a mocker, pursuing ungodly passions and creating divisions. 1 Corinthians 2.14 speaks of such unregenerated persons in this fashion: "The natural (soulish) man does not receive the gifts of the spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." Such men as are under the control of their souls with their spirits suppressed are in direct contrast to spiritual people. They may be exceedingly intelligent, able to present masterful ideas or theories, yet they do not consent to the things of the Spirit of God. They are unfit to receive revelation from the Holy Spirit. Such revelation is vastly different from human ideas. Man may think human intellect and reasoning are almighty, that the brain is able to comprehend all truths of the world; but the verdict of God's Word is, "vanity of vanities." While man is in his soulish state he frequently senses the insecurity of this age and so he too seeks the eternal life of the coming age. But even if he does, he is still powerless to uncover the Word of life by his much thinking and theorizing. How untrustworthy are human reasonings! We often observe how very clever persons clash in their different opinions. Theories easily lead man into error. They are castles in the air, tumbling him into eternal darkness. How true it is that without the guidance of the Holy Spirit intellect not only is undependable but also extremely dangerous, because it often confuses the issue of right and wrong. A slight carelessness may cause not merely temporary loss but even everlasting harm. The darkened mind of man frequently leads him to eternal death. If only unregenerated souls could see this, how good it would be! While man is fleshly he may be controlled by more than just the soul; he may be under the direction of the body as well; for soul and body are closely entwined. Because the body of sin is abounding in desires and passions, man may commit the most hideous of sins. As the body is formed of the dust, so its natural tendency is towards the earth. The introduction of the serpent's poison into man's body turns all its legitimate desires into lusts. Having once yielded to the body in disobeying God, the soul finds itself bound to yield every time. The base desires of the body may therefore often be expressed through the soul. The power of the body becomes so overwhelming that the soul cannot but become the obedient slave. God's thought is for the spirit to have the pre-eminence, ruling our soul. But once man turns fleshly his spirit sinks into servitude to the soul. Further degradation follows when man becomes "bodily" (of the body), for the basest body rises to be sovereign. Man has then descended from "spirit-control" to "soul-control," and from "soul-control" to "body-control." Deeper and deeper he sinks. How pitiful it must be when the flesh gains dominion. Sin has slain the spirit: spiritual death hence becomes the portion of all, for all are dead in sins and trespasses. Sin has rendered the soul independent: the soulish life is therefore but a selfish and self-willed one. Sin has finally empowered the body: sinful nature accordingly reigns through the body.

Excerpts from The Spiritual Man 1968 Edition by Watchman Nee

Comments

  1. Thank you, brother, for several things in this post, starting with: "This does not mean you will be rich, successful, and never sick. This means you will have an abundant spiritual life in Christ." Amen! Another thing that immediately caught my eye was the significance of the temple veil being torn in two; even as a young believer long ago, that was very striking to me. I also appreciate your quoting Watchman Nee regarding this.

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    1. Thank you for your comment dear Brother. Amen! To God be the Glory!

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